Being an Introvert Doesn’t Mean I’m Shy!

I’m an introvert. But not for the reasons you think I am. I am NOT shy. Never, have I been shy. I read somewhere a while ago that an introvert is simply someone that can center themselves from inside. In other words, instead of looking outside for the catalyst for their calm an introvert can do that for themselves. I guess that is what also makes me a loner. My mother is a loner and I’m a lot like her. Some years back when my son was a baby I worked in a bank. One day the branch I worked in was robbed….at gun point. I was the senior person in the branch at that time and I actually watched the robbers walk into the branch. There was literally nothing I could do to stop it. I didn’t even have time to warn the others.

As I watched the thieves pull the shotgun from the back of their vehicle I simply surveyed the branch, noticed there were no customers present, pulled the silent alarm, then placed my hands on top of my desk. Just the week before I’d given the security briefing to rest of the staff. I told them exactly how to behave in the event of a robbery. As the thief racked his shotgun all I could think about was….I was wearing my good dress. Would I have to lay on the floor in my one interview worthy outfit?

Thankfully, it was all over quickly. The second thief walked over to the one teller I was SURE wouldn’t be able to handle herself, demanded the money, then left the branch. As I ran to lock the door the teller collapsed. But she’d done her job. She’d followed instructions and saved our lives.

A short while later, after the police arrived, and just before the counselor arrived on site we were instructed to call our families to let them know we were ok. See, the information was going to be on the news soon. They didn’t want our family members to be startled. I personally, didn’t have anyone to call. My family was 350 miles away. And, since I never heard any news from Richmond when I lived there I found it doubtful my parents would hear about the incident over the news. Instead I called the babysitter taking care of my infant son. Later, I stopped by school and told my advisor and his staff. Were it not for them I’d have no one to tell.

Before leaving for the day, the counselor stopped by the branch. We had a group discussion. One of the first questions she asked was…”Who is coming to work tomorrow?” We all were taken aback. We ALL were planning to come to work the next day. It never even occurred to me not to come to work. Later, as I discussed the incident with the assistant manager of the branch she informed me that I seem to be able to know what I need to be ok. She said everyone doesn’t.

All I needed that day was to pick up my son, hug him with all I had, and simply go home. I left all the emotions at the job. Because, after the robbers left, and the branch was secure. I walked over to that teller and thanked her. She did EVERYTHING right. She SAVED OUR LIVES. She will never know how much that meant to me although I certainly told her those exact words.

I am an introvert. For some reason I know what I need to do to be alright in any situation. I am not shy.

The Freemium Model – There is a Reason for Providing FREE Content

So I’m at word camp atlanta sitting in the workshops only to realize the word of the day is FREE. Seriously, FREE. The sponsors are giving away any and everything for free. We’re talking, t-shirts, mugs, baseball caps, stickers, drink cozies and pens. One sponsor was giving away a MacBook Air. I wonder who won that? I didn’t even ask when the drawing is although I certainly entered the contest. The speakers are giving away their knowledge to help the rest of us…for FREE. The keynote speaker talked of how he became a wealthy man before the ripe old age of 23 by giving things away for FREE. Seriously?

So I made sure to make it to the workshop discussing the Freemium Model. I wanted to know just how I could incorporate the model into my business. So, As I sat there with bated breath listening to the speaker, I curiously waited to find out the secret. Here’s the secret. Give away something, anything, lots of things for free long before you even think of approaching your customer to sell them something.

Really? So, how do you make money from giving away something for free? And if you give it away what incentive does the customer have to buy from you later? I was still curious of how this model could work. As far as I could tell I’m pouring blood sweat AND tears into content production trying to make better the lives of my audience. I’m making every effort to solve their problem; relieve their pain, or intensify their delight. What do I get out of it?

I get to gain their trust. Oh. And then I find out since every webpage has a purpose the true purpose of the freemium model is to get permission to contact them again. In exchange for the jewels of wisdom I share with my client I actually receive something quite valuable in return—their email address.

That email address is like striking goal. I gives me access and permission to contact them again on some mutually agreed upon terms. That email address gives me time to show how much I care about them and their lives. It opens the door to a possible future conversation. Maybe even, dare I say it? It opens the door to a possible future relationship.

I’m intrigued and impressed at the same time because I want all those things. I want to know my audience I want my audience to know me. I want to add value to their lives, ease their pain, and solve their problems. Prayerfully, to gain their trust. But how?

I have a fledgling magazine and two still yet to be found websites. How can I get the word out that I’m here and ready to help? Then it hits me. Those fledgling websites can provide value with powerful targeted helpful content that meets the needs of my audience. The magazine? It’s located on the Apple Newsstand. The app is FREE to download. The issues are downloadable for a small fee but subscribers can receive a free trial to check the magazine out.

I already have the foundation of the freemium model. I just didn’t know it had a name.And, now that I know it’s powerful purpose, I am no longer afraid to use it.

WordCamp Atlanta 2014

I made it. Another year of WordCamp in Atlanta has come and gone. I’m feeling overwhelmed but it was another incredible experience. Now, I have a list of things to do to put the information I learned to use.

I did more to move closer to my goals in this weekend than I have in a long time. What was really cool was to see so many women that looked like me in the developer sessions. It was also really cool to see so many self taught professionals. I will be one of them really soon. I can’t go back to school. I just can’t. So, I’m learning to code online…the same way I earned my MBA.